History

The grape vine has been cultivated in the area of Vipava since the time of ancient Romans. Some sources state that the Roman writer Pliny the Elder describes the noble wine of Vipava in his work. At that time, an important traffic vein from Italy to Pannonia led through the Vipava valley. In the middle ages, Morelli writes about the act of the County of Gorica to protect the wine of Vipava in Carinthia and other Austrian countries, so that Italian wine would not be sold under that name. The development of viticulture in Carniola is described by Janez Vajkard Valvasor in the 17th century, in his book The Glory of the Duchy of Carniola.

The most thorough description of grape growing in the Vipava region has been provided, in the middle of the 19th century, by the known countryman of Vipava, the priest Matija Vertovec, the author of the first Slovenian book on grapegrowing and winemaking - Winemaking for Slovenians, which was published in the year 1844. He had approached grapegrowing with a critical, exploratory demeanour, and attempted to explain, in as understanding terms as possible, to simple grapegrowers, how they should cultivate the vineyards in given conditions, to achieve optimal results. His work is considered a lasting contribution to Slovenian culture.


Viticulture in the Vipava valley ascribes great importance to the year 1894, when the winegrowers of Vipava founded the first wine cellar in Slovenia, which was registered as the Vipava Wine Cooperative. The history of this Cooperative is very colourful, as it has survived two world wars and an Italian occupation. In these turbulent times, the Cooperative operated without interruptions.
In the Vipava region, the grape vine had once been cultivated as a marginal culture, on the fields in the straights, by stakes, willows, mulberries and other trees, on terraces of slopes. In the sixties, the Vipava region began with a renewal of plantation vineyards in the Biljen hills. The terrace plantations in Biljen hills were, for long years, (along with the plantations at Črni Kal and Koper area) the only larger plantations in Slovenia, and span over 240 ha nowadays.


The Vipava cellar contributed a lot to the development of grapegrowing in Vipava valley and consistently grew and conquered the challenges of time. In 1894, the Vipava Wine Cooperative built a cellar with the capacity of 6.000 hl which, 70 years later, was upgraded to a capacity of 45.000 hl. The next larger technological modernisation and increase of capacity occurred in 1974, when the cellar, thanks to successful operation, was gradually increased to 200.000 hl. All of this leads to the cellar VIPAVA 1894  d.o.o. being the largest in Slovenia.